On the Couch is a South African absurdist comedy television series created and produced by Ilse van Hemert with Ja! Productions in which five couples (and a therapist) sit on five different couches in front of their televisions, commenting on the shows they are watching and the issues they raise.
The series premiered on SABC3 on Saturday 11 October 2008, at 19h30. See "Seasons" below for seasonal broadcast dates and times.
Depressed? About politics, the economy and crime? Get ready for a positive perspective from On the Couch, in which a group of characters live their lives through their TVs.
On the Couch is not a sitcom, nor a comedy skit show, a drama or a soap. Yet all of these elements are interlaced. Each episode has these different elements interwoven.
Firstly, there is Dr. JT (Jonathan Pienaar), a somewhat odd therapist from Johannesburg’s northern suburbs, who comments on the struggles and the triumphs of living in South Africa.
He gives advice – pragmatic or outrageous – on how to survive being human.
Then we meet five pairs of typical South Africans, each sitting on a couch in front of their TVs, and witness scenes unfold from their lives around the topics of sport, money, friendship, marriage, sex, family, vanity, technology, fear, culture, stress, self-esteem, faking, jealousy, addiction, aging and more.
Each of the five pairs on the sofa has a unique approach and their own name.
The skits all have one thing in common: the couch potatoes sit in front of their television, watching sport, Oprah, soapies or any appropriate or inappropriate program. They comment on games, current affairs, politics, people, the human condition and their own lives.
The five couch potato pairs are:
Played by Jonathan Pienaar
The Kings of the Couch
Played by James Borthwick
and David Clatworthy
White, middle-aged, sport-addicted, beer drinkers, one in middle management, the other retrenched. The Desperate Couchwives
Played by Makgano Mamabolo
and Kate Normington
A youngish black woman and her not quite so young, white, fellow soapie addict, who live in the same up-market Johannesburg suburb; the one a complete hedonist, the other a desperate housewife. The Rajahs on the Sofa
Played by Jack Devnarain
and Kaseran Pillay
Indian cousins who live and work together in the family funeral business, one pompous and super efficient, the other blissfully unaware of his lack of business acumen or success with women. The Sofa Silahlane
(meaning "Till death do us part")
Played by Tumisho Masha
and Caroline Borole
A couple in their twenties with a six-month-old baby and an overdrawn bank account; a Sotho-speaking, Model C-educated wife, and a Zulu-speaking, township-born-and-bred husband. Bure oppie Bank
Played by Zane Meas
and Neels van Jaarsveld
A coloured Blue Bulls supporter and his white Stormers supporter neighbour, both Afrikaans speaking, both constantly sparring over neighbourly issues like dog poo, borrowed tools and messy mulberry trees.SeasonsSeries exclusive to SABC3Note: The first 21 episodes of Season 1 aired on Saturdays at 19h30. The show moved to Thursdays at 20h31 from Episode 22, which aired on Thursday 2 April 2009. Episode 23 was pre-empted due by the third cricket ODI between South Africa and Australia on Thursday 9 April, and aired the following week.Season 1
Premiere: 11 October 2008 | Finale: 7 May 2009 | Sat, 19h30 / Thu, 20h31Season 2
Premiere: 5 April 2012 | Finale: 20 December 2012 | Thursdays, 18h30